There has been a lively debate about whether generic drugs are truly equivalent to their brand-name equivalents. That has been stirred up even further by questions about the effectiveness of certain generic medicines, including some for ADHD, epilepsy or depression.
Q. I wrote to the FDA about the side effects of generic Prozac (fluoxetine). When I take this generic antidepressant I think about suicide a lot.
I never heard back from the FDA. Apparently it couldn’t care less.
As a result I have to pay $1400 every three months for a Prozac prescription. Generic fluoxetine is about $4, but it’s not even worth that much.
Are Generic Drugs Effective?
A. You are not the first person to complain about problems with generic antidepressants. Another reader wrote,
“Two weeks ago my pharmacy switched me to a new generic fluoxetine and it’s like taking a sugar pill. All of my symptoms are back. I couldn’t even make it to work today.”
The FDA doesn’t respond to such messages. It is important to report problems, however, because the agency may investigate, especially if the manufacturer is named. The best way is online at www.FDA.gov/safety/medwatch/ or by calling (888-463-6332).